When the Illinois Fighting Illini tip-off against Southeast Missouri State on Nov. 11, the team will likely have the luxury of sophomore shooting guard Jalen Coleman-Lands, who has been cleared for all basketball-related activities per Jon Rothstein.
Coleman-Lands fractured a bone in his hand back on September 7 during a skill workout. Two days later, he received treatment in the form of surgery, which resulted in the insertion of a metal plate and six screws in his shooting hand. On the subject of the hand that makes the sophomore such a weapon from outside the three-point line, Coleman-Lands rang in 42.2 percent of his attempts a season ago for the Fighting Illini. He broke a freshman record for triples last season with 87.
Taking on a larger role will be priority number one for Coleman-Lands, who compiled all of 889 minutes as a freshman. Now that the hand is back up to par, he is looking to take that next step.
“Experience in general is going to benefit me. Playing in different games and being able to reflect and watch film,” Coleman-Lands told Scout.com. “I’m going to take that and build off of that.”
The biggest conundrum comes with the fact that Coleman-Lands suffered an injury to the hand that makes him so good.
He doesn’t believe that it will be the crux for him this season.
“As long as mentally I’m fine, I know what I’m capable of doing,” he said. “I’ve gotten plenty of reps shooting the basketball, and once I get back into it, it won’t be a problem.”